Real Housewives Of Orange County Reunion Part 1 Recap: Dumpster Fire

Reality TV

Wow – last night’s Real Housewives Of Orange County reunion was vicious on a level I haven’t seen since the heyday of Real Housewives Of New Jersey!

Vicki Gunvalson had a full-fledged meltdown, was stripped bare, and we were left with the skeletal remains of her original face. It continues in Part 2! Vicki’s entire identity is wrapped up in RHOC so when threatened with that loss, her true self came skulking out with a vengeance. Think Golom chasing the golden ring. I gotta say – I sort of love it. Part 1 of this trilogy, it was the Tres Amigas vs Kelly Dodd, with a little bit of Emily and Gina by their side. And it looks like Part 2 goes even darker.

First of all for the outfits, everyone looked awful. I actually thought Vicki and Emily Simpson, in their velvet dresses looked the best, but Emily’s makeup looked like she let Shane apply it as part of some trust therapy session. Emily and Shane are the new David and Shannon Beador. ‘Studying for the bar’ is Shane’s version of an affair, being that he’s Mormon and all. He’s so checked out of that marriage he might as well be in Italy frolicking naked in the forrest with his new girlfriend. Don’t forget the sock!

Emily had a hip replacement like a week before this was filmed, and showed up in a wheel chair, but she’s still more cognizant than every other person on that stage, except for maybe Braunwyn Windham-Burke. Braunwyn has a pathological need to be loved and make it nice. Brauwnyn was trying to appease everyone last night; to be a friend to all sides. It seems insincere to me and she’s gonna wind up missing a leg shoe and find it clenched in between Kelly or Tamra Judge‘s teeth if she doesn’t knock it off!

RELATED – Real Housewives Of Orange County Finale Recap: Burning Woman

Gina Kirschenheiter Real Housewives Of Orange County Reunion Part 1

Right from the jump Kelly and Tamra are at each other’s throats like two siblings bickering in the backseat. While Emily and Gina Kirschenheiter are arguing over whether or not the Tres Amigas destroyed their friendship, and who was a more negligent friend to whom, Kelly and Tamra are muttering “dummy” at each other under their breaths. It was exactly the way siblings fight in church except if these two went to church it would go up in flames, which is precisely why Tamra had to get baptized in a Holiday Inn pool.

Look they’re both dumb, and they’re also both maniacal geniuses.

Realizing that in order to survive this they’ll have no one but each other (and when you’re literally and figuratively trapped between Hurricane Kelly and Tsunami Tamra you need a shelter from the storm) Gina and Emily decide to hug and makeup. The looks on Tamra and Shannon’s faces as these two reconnected said all you need to know about what’s to become of their ‘bond’ with Gina next season. That is if they all return. Andy Cohen has already revealed that we can expect a casting shakeup!

Emily Simpson Real Housewives Of Orange County Reunion Part 1

Poor Gina – she went bush diving for Tamra, but the only thing she found was a petrified dog turd!

RELATED – Tamra Judge Claims Emily Simpson Was Digging Up Dirt On Gina Kirschenheiter; Says She Has Proof

Speaking of return, Fun Shannon was allegedly back. Or at least we heard she was. Andy asks Shannon what her new boyfriend thinks of her meltdowns of season’s past but she pretends he’s never heard of RHOC, and that producers made her wear a fat suit so she could have a redemption storyline. Shannon has sour grapes about what a puny divorce settlement she got and to anyone asking where the money went, check Dr. Moon‘s bank account. Shannon was blowing through 10k a month just on alternative healing remedies and she’s the craziest person ON Real Housewives Of Orange County if you don’t count Dr. Deb.

Gina Kirschenheiter Tamra Judge Shannon Beador Real Housewives Of Orange County Reunion Part 1

Kelly feels no remorse about bopping Shannon on the head in Miraval, and even demonstrates on Andy how hard she supposedly whacked her. Shannon insists the bowls were much heavier than it appeared and she feels completely justified in going to the ER, then returning to the resort to binge drink away her blurry vision and concussed brain. OK, my kid had a mild concussion this summer and wasn’t even allowed to watch TV for 2 weeks, so I doubt any medical professional said it was fine to “have a few drinks” the second Shannon left the hospital. No, Kelly shouldn’t have hit Shannon (obviously), but we’ve beat this bowl to death and no rhythmic pattern can be found.

Vicki Gunvalson Real Housewives Of Orange County Reunion Part 1

Alas the true story last night was Vicki’s tantrum. While all this arguing was going on on stage, Vicki was fuming and unraveling in the parking lot. She’s furious to be there as an extra, and must wait around until she is called upon. Vicki is threatens a producer over where she’s going to sit on the sofa and feels “like a has been.” Steve Lodge, who is Vicki’s permanent wrangler now (#retiredlyfe) tells her they should just leave. That’s not going to happen, so when threats don’t work Vicki cues up the woe is me histrionics by pleading that if they don’t want her, to let her go with grace. Grace left Vicki a long time ago, if it was ever there to begin with!

Shannon Beador Real Housewives Of Orange County Reunion Part 1

And finally, just after lunch, Vicki takes the stage and is seated directly next to Andy. And she was worried she be squashed to Gina’s right! Vicki comes out swinging, sneering at Andy that she started this show and he has no right to treat her like an extra. Andy is ready with ammunition and introduces Vicki as “Jane Rowe,” aka the woman who filed a baseless and meritless suit against Bravo, Evolution, and Kelly for slandering her business.

Vicki defends herself by talking about… INSURANCE! She’s had her company for 31 years, built it in her home by hiring down and out neighbors like Duff, to being CEO of thousands of employees so one lousy lawsuit from an elderly woman is not going to destroy her, but she will still NOT stand for anyone calling her a crook or a con-woman on national TV. Um, Vicki you have no reputation left to protect.

Kelly immediately fires back that she’s also is a business woman. Kelly owned 5 houses in AZ and didn’t marry Michael for his money (although him selling Leap Frog definitely made her want to leap right into his arms!), and now she owns 25% of Positivity Water, which is now in Sams Club (which is going out of business), Target, and Walmart. Tamra claims she saw it on clearance at Target (I want proof), but Kelly is undeterred in proclaiming herself a successful business woman.

RELATED – Kelly Dodd Owes Almost $24,000 For Unpaid Taxes

Vicki Gunvalson Shannon Beador Real Housewives Of Orange County Reunion Part 1

Just like a case of Positivity Beverage or a box of legal briefs, so many things to unpack here. First of all Vicki! So, Vicki is CEO of a successful company, about to be married (again) to a man she (supposedly) loves, has happy, healthy, thriving children and grandchildren, is famous enough that people might be able to recognize her on the street if she hadn’t changed her appearance more times than an ex-gangster in Witness Protection, and is wealthy. Why does Vicki still require this show?! I’d be more than thrilled to say ‘YES – I started an empire, and now I turn it over to all of you and you can pay me $100k a few times a season to show up, come to a party, say some nasty shit, and then go back to my real successful life.’ That is the true redemption arc, not groveling with Bravo and crying about sitting in the prime position to be embarrassed on national TV by desperate women looking for relevance!

Basically why does Vicki continue to let Real Housewives Of Orange County be her real life? Obviously because, like Braunwyn, Vicki has some pathological need to be loved and feel important. With Braunwyn it manifested in having 7 children because she married the first man she saw and when he didn’t fulfill her she kept repopulating with someone who might. With Vicki it manifested in 13 seasons of a reality show, repopulating her Woo Hoos and drunken antics a million times over and still not finding validation. Vicki probably also thinks she made tequila happen courtesy of all her trips to Mexico. News Flash: Weight Watchers did that when it declared it the lowest point alcohol.

Kelly Dodd Emily Simpson Real Housewives Of Orange County Reunion Part 1

Now onto Kelly. Sure – she’s dabbling in business, but that doesn’t compare her accomplishments to Vicki. So sit down there, sista, and marry another rich guy. Then next time invest your divorce settlement in stocks.

RELATED – Kelly Dodd To Vicki Gunvalson: “I Made Better Choices In My Life Than You. I’m Sorry If You’re Jealous.”

Vicki and Kelly can argue about reputation all they want, but both of theirs are in the toilet. In Newport, in Coto, wherever they go – there they are!

Being the OG of the OC comes with a lot of archival footage of your failures and bad behavior, so Andy features a montage of all Vicki’s faces and failed romances. Especially Brooks. In the one humble moment of her existence Vicki openly admits that she’s isn’t sure Steve is the one, but the only thing to do is take it day by day, and be happy while you can. A hushed silence descends across the stage as it resonates with everyone, including Andy, that Vicki sometimes has a soul and that someone said something real. Wow to an honest to earnest thought passing the plastic exterior of Vicki’s face.

Vicki’s other rage at Kelly is over being repeatedly called a pig. Kelly feels no remorse for this either and even brags about being way better looking than Vicki.

Real Housewives Of Orange County Season 14 Reunion Part 1

It just goes back and forth: Vicki and Kelly; with Shannon and Kelly; with Tamra and Kelly… With Andy looking exhausted as he tries, in vain, to get Braunwyn or Emily or Gina a chance to chime in and break up this lockjaw of institutionalized dysfunction. It doesn’t work. Nothing works.

RELATED – Gina Kirschenheiter Says Vicki Gunvalson & Kelly Dodd Never Take Responsibility For Their Own Actions

Kelly is right to call of them hypocrites. Vicki is screeching about how Kelly is damaging her business, but what about Vicki damaging Kelly’s daughter with the accusations she’s made against Kelly? (OK, in fairness, I feel like Kelly involves Jolie way too much in the goings-on of her 40+ year old friends). Basically they’re all hypocrites (and maybe sociopaths too as Kelly accuses Shannon of being).

I think the problem is that RHOC needs a leader. Vicki didn’t work out, Kelly won’t work out since she’s a tyrant, and Tamra is a true sociopath who can’t be trusted at the helm. Shannon is an emotional mess of neediness and insecurity, who will fall under the influence of whatever person is most effective at manipulating her (Tamra). Emily is too sane. Gina is too … big ball of nothingness. At this point Braunwyn doesn’t want to let go of her image as the happy-go-lucky super mom with a funky edge, but I see her gunning for them. I see her as the sleeper assassin who will swoop in from the side, and suddenly appear pulling an uzi out of her Birkin. Watch that one!

RELATED – Braunwyn Windham-Burke Says She’s A Better Person Because Of Tamra Judge, Shannon Beador, & Vicki Gunvalson

Whatever happens after this reunion, changes definitely need to be made. The anger and vitriol… As Tamra said at one point Kelly even looked like she was making animal faces, there’s no walking back from that to going on group trips and being in each other’s weddings.


[Photo Credits: Bravo]

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